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FCPS To Vote On Radon Repairs Monday

The Fayette County School Board is expected to vote on a potential solution after identifying nine schools that tested positive for high levels of radon.

Nine schools tested positive for the gas. Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as a decay product of radium. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Early this month, radon was found in nine schools Bryan Station High School, Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy, Harrison Elementary, Leestown Middle School, Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Mary Todd Elementary, Russell Cave Elementary, SCAPA and Sandersville Elementary.

In 2015, LEX Investigates featured a story on radon testing in public schools. After testing for radon at Locust Elementary returned high levels, all 66 schools were tested.

High radon levels found at nine Fayette County schools

High radon levels were found at nine Fayette County Public Schools, requiring an emergency fix, a district official said Thursday.

The schools were: Bryan Station High, Booker T. Washington Intermediate, Harrison, Leestown Middle, LTMS, Mary Todd, Russell Cave, SCAPA and Sandersville. The remediation will cost $571,846.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, according to the EPA website. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It moves up through the ground to the air and into buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

The levels of radon are higher than the 4 picocuries per liter limit recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The highest level found was Harrison Elementary at 15.8 picocuries per level.

Myron Thompson, acting senior director of operations and support, said work will begin during spring break and continue over the summer, all when students are not present.

Lexington Woman Battling Cancer Warns Others About Radon


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - You can not see it, smell it, or taste it. Some say it's among the most dangerous things in our homes.

Radon contributes to over 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year.

Now, Lois Turner Dees who's fighting the disease hopes to warn others about the potential threat.

"Today is the first anniversary of when I was diagnosed with stage four renal carcinoma," says Dee. "When you're first diagnosed with lung cancer, you're in shock."

What's even surprising is that Dees never been or lived with a smoker.

Most Kentuckians Ignore Radon Threat

For decades, Kentuckians have known they’re vulnerable to radon, but many are not protecting themselves. The radioactive gas collects in crawl spaces and basements, and has been linked to health problems. Much of central Kentucky is troubled by radon gas. Thanks to the region’s limestone and caves, radon levels here are much higher than the national average.

“Radon basically stems from decay of uranium in the ground so it’s a form of radiation,” said Clay Hardwick.

State radon coordinator Clay Hardwick says radon levels in over 40 percent of tested homes exceed limits set by the U-S Environmental Protection Agency. Medical researchers have established a link between the gas and lung cancer. Hardwick says it’s difficult to determine which lung cancers in Kentucky can be directly blamed on radon.

“At this point there is no real stream line method of collecting that type of information, I mean, the right people are not connected at this point in time,” added Hardwick.

Commonwealth Collaboratives at University of Kentucky named Exemplary Projects by Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Ellen Hahn's Clean Indoor Air Initiative and Chris Barton's Reclamation of Surface-Mined Lands Initiative were recently named Exemplary Projects

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2011) − Two of the University of Kentucky's Commonwealth Collaboratives recently were named Exemplary Projects by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

The Collaboratives, engagement efforts between UK and Kentucky communities, are designed to address entrenched problems in the state. The projects help to improve the health, education, economy, environment, natural resources and quality of life for Kentucky residents. The Clean Indoor Air Initiative led by Ellen Hahn and the Reclamation of Surface-Mined Lands Initiative led by Chris Barton received the recent designations from APLU as part of the Association's C. Peter Magrath/W.K. Kellogg Engagement Award program.

A Personal Tale of Lung Cancer

A Personal Tale of Lung Cancer

This year, Western Kentucky University (WKU) Department of Environment, Health and Safety reached new heights in raising awareness during National Radon Action Month – by garnering media attention to spread the word about the risk of radon. The department’s Radon Grant Coordinator Anita Britt partnered with the Barren River District Health Department, a local radon mitigation professional and the Bowling Green Daily News newspaper to run a personal story about radon, titled “Radon a Silent Danger.” The article – written by Pam Cassady and published on Jan. 17, 2011 – described a personal story of Lisa Murrell, a local nonsmoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer (pictured above).

Radon Study Participants Recognized

Radon Study Participants Recognized

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 5, 2011) − Boyle County homeowners who participated in a University of Kentucky College of Nursing radon study earlier this year were recently recognized at a reception hosted by UK's Radon Policy Research Program. The purpose of the reception was to recognize the recipients of the free home mitigation systems and to provide all the study participants with additional information on radon and the mitigation process.

The "Test and Win" study involved recruiting Boyle County homeowners who were interested in testing their homes for radon, an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is known to cause lung cancer in humans. Eligible participants completed an online survey, received free radon test kits, tested their homes for radon and returned the test kits for analysis.

Kentucky HB 247 for Radon Licensure Passes

Kentucky HB 247 for Licensure of Radon Contractors made it through its 3rd reading and passed 37-0 on March 2nd. Language in the bill was changed as it went through the House and Senate. More details on how this bill will affect the State Program and Radon Professionals will follow in the next couple of weeks.

To read more about this bill, visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11RS/HB247.htm.

Plentiful Radon in the Commonwealth of KY

Plentiful Radon in the Commonwealth of KY

Listen to this news segment.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WKMS) - The geology of the Commonwealth makes it a prime spot for horses, bourbon and radon gas. Radon, which often accumulates in homes, has long been linked to lung cancer. Many homeowners hire firms that check for radon and then install equipment that disperses the gas. But, some of those experts should not be trusted.

Louisville resident Nancy Huhn grew up in a household where cigarette smoke was common and worked for years alongside smokers. Four years ago at age 50 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. But, Huhn says specialists at Vanderbilt found no link between her cancer and second-hand smoke.

Teaching 7th Graders the Science Behind Radon

Teaching 7th Graders the Science Behind Radon

To prepare students to participate in the National Radon Poster Contest, Robert McLellan of the Todd County Health Department in Kentucky taught 7th grade science students about radon – infusing awareness with the science class’s curriculum.

One hundred and twenty-five students at Todd County Middle School learned about the periodic table of elements, radioactive decay and the make-up of atoms. To teach them about how radon and other elements’ atoms are formed, Robert used a hands-on activity to show students how to “build” their own atom nuclei. Reese’s Puffs cereal was used to represent neutrons and protons – the peanut butter Puffs being protons and the chocolate being neutrons. For students with peanut allergies, Apple Jacks cereal was used as a replacement. The students then learned how to find the number of neutrons by subtracting the atomic number from the rounded atomic mass.